5 Steps to Getting Your Asthma On Track
If you've been lax about your asthma or hoping the wheezing will go away or if you believe that it's normal to use your rescue inhaler 10 times a day, take some time in the spirit of renewal and reflection to get real about your asthma for the New Year.
Here are 5 steps to get your asthma symptoms back on track and to enable you to live your life more fully.
5. Get Honest. How honest with yourself are you about your asthma symptoms? Are you compliant with your doctor's prescriptions? Do you doubt your doctor's diagnosis? Do you think that using the rescue inhaler five times a day is reasonable? (It's not, by the way.) Healthcentral.com's Rick Frea has a handy guide to getting real about what kind of asthmatic you are. Read it and assess where you are, right now, with blunt honesty.
4. Get educated. Now that you have gotten real about what kind of asthmatic you are, it's time to get educated about how to best help and/or diminish your symptoms. Learn about your asthma triggers; learn how to avoid them. Talk to your doctor about your asthma action plan; about what medications will work best for you; about side effects; about long term treatment and rescue inhalers (they are changing as of January 1, 2009). Discuss your fears and concerns openly with your health professional -- it's the only way to get the best information that can help you most.
3.Take Action. Now that you've learned more about asthma, put your asthma plan into action, take your medication as prescribed; don't skip out on doctor's appointments. If you have concerns about your plan, voice them. If something isn't working, talk to doctor and change it. Don't say "mañana"; do it today!
2. Educate those around you. This may seem like a lot of trouble, but to stay on track with your asthma plan, it will depend not only on you but also on your team: doctors, spouses, children, and work colleagues. Get everyone on board.
1. Be Kind to yourself. Regardless of what kind of asthmatic you were yesterday or that you hope to become tomorrow, be compassionate with yourself and be kind to yourself right now. Accept how you've treated your asthma in the past and recommit to being the best, healthiest, asthma-free you in the New Year.
P.S. the New Year doesn't just happen on January 1st; it can happen any time and day of the year. The moment you commit fully to make a change and start that is your new year!